Our Daily Breather was a daily series where we asked writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helped them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. The series concluded on June 13, 2020. Many writers and artists told us they were spending time in the kitchen. Here, we've collected some of the recipes they shared with us throughout the series.
Who: Hanif Abdurraqib
Where: Columbus, Ohio
Writer Hanif Abdurraqib shared a reflection of the freedom baking can bring: "I'm not normally one for baking — I get that it is mostly all about the following of instructions, but I think that has always made the task more daunting for me and my many anxieties. If I failed, that failure would be speaking to some greater inability, or it might tell me something about myself. But, my anxieties, though busy as ever, aren't very interested in whether or not I fail at the moment."
Who: Nathalie Joachim
Where: Chicago, Ill.
Recommendation: Cooking sos pwa nwa (Haitian black bean sauce)
Nathalie Joachim shared a recipe for a traditional Haitian dish: "Now, everyone knows that it doesn't take a global disaster, but is in fact a non-negotiable requirement of every good Haitian, to stockpile their home with dried staples like rice and beans. The duo, in all of its forms, hits this ideal trifecta of culinary satisfaction: tasty, nutritious and cheap. It has sustained our people for centuries, so I'm proud to say that even my neglected pre-quarantine pantry was full of an unnecessary amount of both. One of the first things I did to comfort myself was cook up a batch of sos pwa nwa, Haitian black bean sauce."
Who: Tori Amos
Where: Cornwall, England
Recommendation: Cooking vegan meals
Tori Amos reflected on cooking with her daughter and shared a recipe for vegan mushroom stew: "Usually, my daughter, Tash, and I do it together and we bond and try and find the calm by firing up the stove. For a while now (practicing social distancing) there have been four of us here — two being vegan. So if the non-vegans are really liking the vittles then it works for everybody."
Who: Paul Burch
Where: Nashville, Tenn.
Recommendation: Making hot chicken
Paul Burch and his wife have been spending time perfecting one particular recipe: "My wife, Meg Giuffrida, loves a challenge. She married a songwriter. Some of the city's favorite chefs love her cooking. Confined to our home and unable to reach out to our city, Meg decided to try her hand at Nashville's other favorite pastime and created something all her own: Hot Chicken Quarantine. I may never leave the house."
Who: Rhiannon Giddens
Where: Limerick, Ireland
Recommendation: Making homemade pasta
Rhiannon Giddens has been passing the time away from her partner by making pasta: "My partner is from Italy — he grew up in Torino, but his entire family is from Sicily — and in the time we have been together he has seriously made me re-think my relationship with food. I grew up with some ideas of good food (I'm from the South, after all) but as I progressed through my youth and into my adulthood, 'food as sustenance' became my mantra. A source of calories and occasional burst of (usually chemicalized) flavor. Meeting Francesco (and his mother-the-amazing-cook) slid the scales from my eyes and I have been learning what good, fresh ingredients, a little knowledge and a lot of love can do."
You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for. If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.